Lacklustre Magpies defeated at Luton

As I was unable to be at Luton through family reasons, Pete Rolley a regular away day supporter gave us his opinion on the game at Luton.

Once again 382 hard core Notts fans made the trip to Luton in great voice and high expectations and with just 6 minutes on the clock they were rewarded with an excellent goal from Elliott Hewitt to give Notts the lead and stun the home supporters, a ball whipped in to the near post was half cleared by the hatters defender and fell invitingly for Hewitt  who dispatched a wonderful strike past Stuart Moore the Luton keeper who had no chance of saving the shot. Going behind sparked Luton into more urgency and with Potts breaking into the Notts half from his defensive duties on every opportunity, his powerful running was causing the Notts defence lots of problems and with the dangerous Hylton, Palmer and the speedy Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu the Notts defence were under constant pressure and it came as no surprise when Luton equalised on 16 minutes, Danny Hylton picked up the ball 35 yards from goal and with the Notts defence backing off him he unleashed a tremendous strike that seemed to deceive Adam Collin and crash back off the woodwork but once again the Notts defence were sleeping and Ollie Palmer was again first to react to pounce on the loose ball and head past Collin. This got Luton’s tails up and they were certainly testing Notts defence which was nullifying there attacking threat, Stead and Ameobi were starved of service as Luton were attacking at will with the dangerous Hylton causing so many problems for the Notts defence and it got worse for Notts with virtually the last kick of the half Mpanzu was again unmarked on the edge of Notts penalty area and his first time strike arrowed into the corner of the net to give Luton a deserved first half lead and on Notts first half performance, a mountain to climb in the second half, some of Kevin Nolan’s magic was needed at the break to rouse the magpies for the second battle if they were to get anything from this game.

Within seconds of the restart Luton should have been further in front as Haydn Hollis allowed Hylton to nip in front of him and with just Collin to beat he put his effort wide of the post, this seemed to spur Notts to life as they took control of the game and had the majority of possession and had endless corners, Adam Campbell had a great strike that was brilliantly saved by Moore, Notts introduced Forte and Yeates on 72 minutes to give more bite upfront, they replaced Stead and Milsom who had both worked hard but little change from a comfortable looking Luton defence that was marshalled by a Notts old favourite Alan Sheehan. Jonathan Forte did well to flick a header to Mark Yeates who’s first time effort seemed destined for the bottom corner of the net until Moores once again pulled off a fine save. Luton were pegged back by the Magpies but always looked dangerous on the break and you feared they would increase their lead with Hylton always dangerous, Hylton was dismissed on 90 minutes for a second yellow card but by this time it was too late for the Magpies to make the extra man count.

As much as Notts improved in the second half, it was clear to see that Kevin Nolan as some serious business to do in the transfer market during the summer to move Notts County to the next step in their aspirations of becoming promotion contenders for next season.

Melvyn Watson

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